by Oona King - £8.99 Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2008)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780747593096 | ISBN 10: 0747593094
How does it feel to lose your job in front of 10 million people? To become an MP in your twenties? To ask a Government Whip for time to see your husband? To sleep on the floor while waiting to vote in the middle of the night? To represent the Secretary of State for Health at a family-planning clinic on the day you fail your fifth IVF cycle? To be loved and hated by people who don't even know you? To be the second black woman elected to Parliament? To be a Jewish woman representing a largely Muslim constituency? To be the only MP who likes house music?
The 1997 Labour victory changed British politics for ever, ushering in a new generation of women into parliament. The most high profile of 'Blair's babes', Oona King, won a prized London constituency and became an MP at 29.
Yet, despite wanting to be an MP since she was five, after only three years at Westminster, Oona considered resignation. Regular 90-hour weeks, an end to her private life and frequent death-threats made Oona question why she had worked all her life to become an MP. It also made her question the dysfunctional relationship between people and politicians.
When Iraq became the biggest issue in British politics, Oona was set on a collision course with her constituents, eventually losing her seat to George Galloway in the most symbolic defeat of the Blair Government on election night 2005.
A decade is a long time in politics, and in these candid diaries Oona shows how she has changed since that night in 1997. She blows the lid off Westminster, illuminating the corridors of power with humour and insight, and finally reveals how she chose to abandon her ambition to become Prime Minister in favour of another ambition: to have a life.
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